Proverbs Challenge Day 21

31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle,  but victory rests with the Lord.

Every day we are at battle.  The Evil one would love for us to put down our guard and allow him to rule with fear, anxiety, hate, and leave us feeling powerless.

Ephesians 6:10-18, describes the “Armor of God” horse that we must pick up daily to prevent the evil one from taking over our lives.  We must be diligent because he diligently seeks ways into our life.  As some of you may remember, I was recently diagnosed with AFIB. I became afraid of doing anything. My digestive track even stopped working, this combined with the pain from muscle spasms caused me to one seek help and two realize that although I thought I was leaning on God, I was allowing fear to rule my life.  It has been a long couple of months.  I was living minute by minute afraid that my pulse would elevate (and it was) and then I would die a horrible painful death.  It has only been a few weeks since I realized that my fear was making me worse and I m feeling tons better.  My fasting blood sugar is back down to under 100 which although I am still not able to check it without fear striking, I am certain that my blood pressure is lower.  My digestive track is starting to function normally.  I have returned to putting on the ARMOR OF GOD.

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Proverbs Challenge Day 20

27 The human spirit is the lamp of the Lord that sheds light on one’s inmost being.

lamp-lightWe are called to be the Light of the world. But how can I be a good light to the world, when I feel so miserable?

It starts with one tiny act of kindness at a time.

Perhaps today you smile at someone that you wouldn’t normally even acknowledge.

Perhaps you allow the person with one item in the line in-front of your cartful.

Perhaps you tell someone that that blouse makes their eyes shine.

Perhaps you offer to help one person.

Here is the thing, when we feel miserable, it helps us feel better when we help someone else. As we show God’s love to others, we let our light shine.  After-all, it is Jesus shining through us.

Proverbs Challenge Day 6 The Ant

Proverbs 6: 6-11:  Talks about not being lazy.  Which given my current condition, is a struggle.  I have been dealing with some health issues for some time now.  I felt that God was telling me to focus on my health. Take some time.  But then I think about verses such as these, talking about doing. And I feel as if I am being lazy.  Neither my husband nor God saw me that way. I was allowing Satan to influence my thought pattern. God sees me as following his instructions.  However, I was used to going 100 mph and prayed to God to give me something so I don’t feel so worthless. When you are used to caring for everyone and then all of a sudden you can’t; it is easy to feel worthless. (Don’t give in to Satan’s jabs)

It is how I started writing this blog.  I am working on taking it a step further. Finding a way to make money that allows me to exercise and go to all my doctor appointments.  I am working on it.  But God has a plan and I will wait for his plan to unfold.

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. How long will you lie there, you sluggard?  When will you get up from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—11 and poverty  will come on you like a thief  and scarcity like an armed man.

 

Mother’s Day can be SAD

I am mother who really doesn’t care for Mother’s Day.  Before bad stuff happened on Mother’s day, it was this day that I ran around making sure everyone had a good day.  Before I worked hard to emphasize it, Mother’s day was forgotten.

I would feel bad and then in turn try to make my family feel guilty.   See I was the kid who got up early when I was very young and tried to make mom breakfast in bed, or bake her a cake.  So when my family forgot, I felt cheated.

The next step was to remind them constantly that Mother’s Day is coming.  I remember one year when the first person to say “Happy Mother’s Day” to me was the head usher at church. That was ugly.

After that I pulled the let’s try super hard to make everyone have a good day.  But then I felt cheated because Mother’s Day is supposed to be celebrating mom – not seeing her be “Super Martha”  Mother’s Day is supposed to be “Super Mary”.

Then I kinda gave up on it.  Just let it be.  Shortly after that, I thought this year, I  am planning something big for Mother’s Day.  We will go to a resort hotel in Omaha.  I had made reservations.  We could go swimming and watch our favorite movies. See I had been trying to finish up my degree that year and was super focused on getting it finished. I wanted to make it up to them.

While I was trying to get in touch with my son, to bring him home so we could take off; he was busy being arrested.  The next year, my Grandmother died.  The year after that there was a huge riot at the jail where my son was staying.  He wasn’t involved it was a different unit. It still affected us.  The jail was locked down for almost 90 days and no visitors.  Phone calls only every other day and letters were delivered once a week for a short time. It was awful.

The last couple of years, my husband and my other son have worked very hard.  They try to help me forget my one son is in jail and my grandmother died on this day. They are trying to make up for years of neglecting Mother’s Day.  It is sweet, but the sadness is still there.

This year, I told them instead of buying me presents, just take me shopping so I can buy a few things for myself that I have been meaning to buy.  Since I hate to shop it is the perfect gift.  Because taking me shopping is the ultimate sacrifice. They keep me calm while I buy things for myself. I buy stuff for them all the time.

There are others that hate Mother’s Day as well.  Those who have lost a child either physically or to drugs and alcohol.  Some lost children due to disease, some sort of accident, or worse because some war. Some lost their children due to their own mistakes (which doesn’t mean it does not hurt thinking about children that they do not know where they are and cannot hold). Some like me have children in prison. There are ones that are trying to be a mother and seeing everyone with children makes them sad. Or the ones that had a miscarriage.

If your parents are still alive, cherish your mom.  That is another thing I have against Mother’s day. My mom is growing senile, lives 1100 miles away, and won’t answer her phone. She thinks the government is out to get her through her phone. Don’t take those mother/child relationships for granted.  If you are angry at your mom today is the day to fix it. There might come a day when you can’t talk to her. She might be senile, or worse dead. She might come up missing. She may someday forget who you are. She might be in a foreign country being held hostage.  She might be deployed in an area where communication is not allowed. (the same is true of children) We just don’t know what can happen.  Don’t wait for Mother’s Day or Father’s day to cherish your parent.

John 1: 12-13: Child of God

I frequently hear people say that they are worthless, stupid, and other things such as that.  It tends to irk me, but then I realize that I too have been just the same. I forget that I am a child of God and because I am a child of God, I am wonderful, beautiful.  There was a woman in my life that really made me struggle with this concept. She made me feel unworthy because of the way I dressed, wore my hair, and I didn’t wear makeup.  She told me that people won’t listen to me because I don’t look put together. What she didn’t understand is that I did the best that I could.  I was fashion illiterate. But that did not mean that I was any less capable of doing the things that God was pushing me to do.  I pushed and she told me that I was too stupid to lead a woman’s group. Too Stupid, Too ugly, and Too unpolished.  That held my Christian growth back a few years, because I actually started to believe her.

Then I started looking at Christian women who were in the public eye.  I noticed one thing that they all wore clothes that matched, they all had perfect makeup and they all had perfect hair. WHILE THEY WERE ON STAGE. Because I got to see one of these women out on the street.  They looked like me, jeans T-shirt, hair messed up but best of all NO MAKE UP. I asked her if this is how she looked all the time. She told me that most of the time she also has cow poop on her. Then I realized that it is not about your looks, it is about your gift. She explained that the polished look is just for the stage.  I listened to someone tell me that each of us is beautiful, each has our own gifts and we have to use our own talents. Just because mine is not all the girly stuff, doesn’t mean that God does not have a mission for me. But perception is  important.  What he has done is put people in my life that have shown me how to dress, wear make up and learn about fashion. While I teach them how to read the Bible, How to explore God’s word, how to live the life God has for them.  If that woman a long time ago, had been the great leader that she claims to be, she would have seen all the diamonds in the rough that God placed in her hands. All the diamonds that like me, she made feel unworthy. Because in that group there were many that she made feel unworthy.  She was wrong. Each child of God is worthy. Each had their own talents. Each has a purpose in the Kingdom of God.

John 1: 12-13:

12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

Easier said than done

Romans 15:13: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

We are supposed to trust in God in everything and then be filled by the power of the Holy Spirit.  This is easier said than done. If you are like me, you fail. The Evil One is constantly trying to whisper to us that we are not worthy.  Nothing could be further from the truth. God says we are worthy.  He sent his son to die for us.  Jesus would not have gone to the cross to save us if we were worthless.

So many of us, myself included, are good at looking as if nothing is wrong, even when we feel as if we are falling apart.  (allowing the evil one to trick us into thinking “worthless”)

My weakness is I am very insecure. There are days, when I look completely confident.  Thanks to a dear friend, I have learned how to look put together.  The harder I work to look put together, the less secure I actually feel.  (allowing the evil one to trick me into thinking “worthless”)

If you see me in jeans and one of my husband’s shirts, that day when I look a mess, those days , I feel confident.  There is no need to try to look confident that is how I feel.  Or at least that is how I start out.   (allowing the evil one to trick me into thinking “worthless”)

Then someone looks at me as if I am crazy, or someone treats me poorly.  Then all those insecurities just rush into my head.  Those days, I wish I was more put together. That I looked more confident, because I don’t want people to see how I feel. I want people to look at me and think she has got it all together (if they only knew). I need to remember Jesus says I am not.

As a result, I find myself ever thankful to that friend who taught me how to look put together.  I put forth the effort. Because I am not worthless, Jesus died for me. I want to show the world, Jesus says I am wonderful.  Jesus says we are wonderful.

The truth is I am forgetting that God really doesn’t care if I am “put together”. He says I am His creation: beautiful.

I am forgetting that God gave me the gift of the ability to think on my feet.

I am forgetting that God has sent the Holy Spirit to guide and direct me.

I am forgetting that if I depend on God, I can be confident, I can hold my head high; people don’t see all my sins from years gone by.  (I just like to think they do.)

But most of all I am forgetting that most people are just like me insecure afraid. Yet we do not have to be because Jesus sent the advocate to guide us.  When we depend on him, we don’t need to be afraid, insecure.

 

Comfort in Jesus is like Friendship bread

What do you find comforting?  A bowl of mac-n-cheese, a special robe, a certain movie, a hug from a loved one, a puppy dog lick, a special chair, or some other thing?

Me, a cup of coffee, my favorite robe, and a typewriter. Those are comforting.  I can tell that blank page all my fears, anxiety, pain and then when I am done, I can delete the whole thing; or share it with you.

That type of comfort is fleeting.  It lasts for as long as we are involved in that activity maybe just a bit longer.  Once that bowl of mac-n-cheese is gone, it is like NOW WHAT??

True Comfort comes from God. 

When we turn to Jesus that comfort lasts all day.  Actually it is always there, but we have to feed it through prayer and reading the word.

The best way to feed it, is to share it.

When we share Jesus with others it is like we are making a batch of sour dough.  If you have ever made any type of friendship bread, this analogy is  self-explanatory.  This is for those that haven’t.

Sourdough works like this.  You start with the starter recipe. (Salvation) You place it in a glass jar like a mason jar.  (you are the glass jar) Then you feed it. ( you feed it by hearing or reading God’s word) You feed it by adding more ingredients  Before you know it your jar is overflowing.  Right before the sourdough or

friendship bread is ready to overflow, you put some of the mix into another jar  and share it with someone.  (sharing Jesus)

The other fun thing you do with the mix is bake it into bread or a cake (the recipe comes with the instructions on starting the sourdough or friendship bread.)  When you bake the cake or bread, most people don’t sit down and eat it all by themselves, they share the cake or bread with others. 

When you were introduced to Jesus, someone should have shared with you things that you can do to share Jesus.

As we share this delicious comforting food, our comfort grows.  Just like when we share Jesus, our permanent comfort grows within us.  The more we share, the more comfort we feel.  It is like that song we sang as a kid.

My little light will shine, let it shine, let it shine. Put it under a bushel, NO.  (a bushel basket)

2 Corinthians 1:3-7:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

Who cares about your physical color, What color is your soul?

1 Peter 2:9 NIV:  On those days when you feel as if no one is listening, no one cares remember:  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

I can hear some of the objections, an unseen entity thinks I am Holy, why?  Because he created you and chose you to be His child.  He does not care about your emotional scars or your physical scars.  He does not care if you are in jail or have been in jail. He does not care about any of your groups. He does not care about the color of your skin. He doesn’t even care if you are in a wheelchair.  God sees you as His creation Beautiful. Once you accept Jesus as your personal savior; you become His and Holy

 

You have value

There are times when we feel useless and unworthy. These are just whispers of the Devil. If we allow these thoughts to percolate, they will turn into an ugly black mood.  There are so many things that can cause us to feel this way.  recently I found myself feeling that way.  There are people working on my roof.  The damage is worse than we thought. It is awful, we are not paying that much and try as we might we were unable to get many volunteers. Only my husband’s nephew, my husband, son, the contractor, his stepfather, his cousin, wife, and their two young sons.  Our house is 1820 square feet and the roof is about 2500 square feet including the attached two and 1/2 car garage. It is a large roof. If it were a roof without damage, and everything was perfect, maybe that many people could have done it in a weekend. I have a couple of things against me climbing up on a roof. On a good day, I walk wobbly. Ever heard of a weeble? People that know me say “weebles wobble but they don’t fall down”. It is not as mean as it sounds, because I know they are just teasing me. Here I am on my third run to buy more materials and boom I go down hard. It would have been harder but my husband caught me. What can I do but put on my braces and go to the store. When we returned from the store, I collapse emotionally.  All these people are working so hard to fix my roof. My nephew went home early. But there is so much work to do and did I tell you we are not paying them that much. I am overwhelmed by what must be done and how enthusiastic they are that “It is going to be done right, no leaks a great roof”. I am sure it will be but so frustrated that I can’t help. Besides being wobbly, I take medications that don’t respond well to sunlight.  Less than ½ hour out in the sun makes one of my medications useless. What I failed to realize that is what many of us fail to realize is that just because we are not doing the hard-physical work, our work has value.  For example, I was a gopher, a cheerleader (don’t tell me) a place for the kids to go when they needed a break. A water provider, a meal provider.    Paper pushers have importance.  Without the paper pushers, the computer operators, the telephone receptionists, etc.; these people take care of the tedious work. The work other people hate to do.  It is necessary and it is as needed as the barista.  Yes, I am not afraid to admit, Coffee is in the need column. If you don’t believe it, ask my family what happens if I must get up at O’dark thirty, and the coffee isn’t finished brewing.  Or worse, the pot, the one that worked yesterday has stopped working.  What I really need more is my time with my cup of coffee and my Bible.  Lately, life has been hectic and I have been missing it.   For whatever reason, I haven’t found the time. I try having that time some other time, but there is interference. It seems the harder I try to cut through the interference, the more strife there is.  Satan is working overtime to keep me away from that time with God.  That is how he works.  The computer is acting up, at the dentist’s office things go terribly wrong, procedure done but completion not scheduled for almost 4 months. Oh, and then there is the double billing (billing for the same procedure twice).  The roof is such a mess that it is taking longer than expected.  There is time out for job interviews, and of course groceries must be bought.  Which means I am struggling with self-worth issues, and the frustration of not seeming to be able to take out that time with God.  I forgot to mention the pets are not responding well to all the noise.  My little dog, wants my attention constantly.  She does not want me to write or balance the checkbook, or fix a meal; she wants me to hold her constantly.  I can read the Bible and hold her, do it all the time. My problem is that spending time with God requires a quiet mind.  With all these things happening, it is hard to quiet my mind.  At this point it seems as if Satan is winning.  But he won’t God won’t let him, I am one of God’s chosen. That doesn’t mean that I do not have work to do, I must push everything aside and pray.  I need to listen to God. Hear his voice. But once I start taking that time to listen, telling the evil one he is not going to win; Jesus is right there pushing the evil one out-of-the-way.  The more practice I have the quicker the evil one goes.  It really takes work. It takes practice.  Yet when you think about very few people can just jump In and be experts at the stop.  Oh, sure there are those that just pick up everything and are good at everything.  Most people must work and work at everything they learn.  Do you think Big Ben could run through a line without practice?  Terry Bradshaw wasn’t born knowing how to be one of the greatest quarterbacks that ever lived.  He claims Phil was (Duck Dynasty Phil) but look how that turned out.  The one that had to work and work was the historic QB. The big question is, how much do you want to have a relationship with the savior?  To be good, it will require work.

There is another way to put it, think about your closest relationship, does it just happen or does it take work?  Occasionally, we hear about relationships that “just happen”. Those are rare. Even those we just click relationships would not happen if we didn’t make time for them.  A relationship with God is not any different.  Sure, he knows us, can hear us, but we don’t know him, unless we chose to know God.  Spending time God is an effort.   Those “unworthy, useless feelings, when we pay attention to our relationship with God, they fade.  Why? because when your relationship with God is strong, it is harder for the Devil to get even his pinky toe into your thoughts. His little lies are obvious and weak.

 

 

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